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Crew Installing Crawl Space Vapor Barrier

Crawl Space Repair & Encapsulation

Crawl space repair will create a healthier living space, eliminate harmful allergens and save money on your utility bills.

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For many homeowners, the crawl space is an out-of-sight, out-of-mind area of the home. But if you notice problem signs like sagging floors, an uptick in asthma or allergies, higher electric bills, or pest infestations, the source may be below your feet in the crawl space. From the mid 20th century to the 1990s, builders commonly believed that vents were necessary for circulating moisture out of the crawl space. Foundation experts later learned that crawl space vents had the opposite effect on homes and were entry points for excess moisture to creep in, weaken floor joists, and grow mold and mildew.

That’s where crawl space encapsulation comes in. Though “basement” is in our name, we at BQ Basements & Concrete are crawl space experts, too. Read on to learn how we spot the source of your crawl space issues; and how we can help you with permanent crawl space repair solutions.

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Most of the problems traditionally associated with damaged, rotting crawl spaces are due to basic flaws in the ways that crawl spaces were designed.

Although it may not be common knowledge, crawl spaces should be dry and free of moisture at all times. If not, it’s possible water and water vapor can lead to issues like mold, wood rot, and pest infestations. Humidity in your crawl space doesn’t just stay in the crawl space, it travels upstairs because of the stack effect. The Philadelphia area has a subtropical climate, so homes in the area battle humidity regularly. It’s important to address the humidity in your crawl space as well as the rest of your home.  

The stack effect, although it seems like a complicated scientific definition when broken down becomes simple and easy to understand the importance it plays in our homes.  

The stack effect is the process by which air flows through your home from the bottom to the top. 

As warm air rises through your house, it eventually escapes through the roof. Building experts estimate even in a highly insulated home, half the air escapes through the roof each hour. 

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Is Crawl Space Repair and Encapsulation the Right Solution for Me?

Boasting locations on the east coast, Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware are no strangers to wet, gloomy weather. Living on the eastern seaboard, we know to hunker down during the aptly named nor’easter storms in the summer and fall, but our crawl spaces may not always be so prepared. Precipitation through rain and snow throughout the year can leak into the crawl space through broken or unsealed vents.

When your crawl space is left vulnerable to moisture penetration, the dark, humid area of your home becomes the perfect breeding ground for mold, mildew, and pest infestations. Left unchecked, these issues can wear down your crawl space floor joists, disrupting your home’s structure. As air rises from your crawl space into your living space, the toxins will too. You may notice yourself cranking up the HVAC unit to combat cooler or warmer temperatures sneaking in through the crawl space. Or worse—you might even notice changes in your health due to the toxins filtering up into your home from your crawl space.

You can strengthen your home and improve air quality with an energy-efficient crawl space dehumidifier, 20-mil thick vapor barrier, a crawl space drainage system, or other permanent crawl space solutions. Get started today.


The crawl space is one of the most important spaces in your Philadelphia home. Its main purpose is to store your home’s vital systems, including but not limited to your electrical wiring, plumbing, insulation, HVAC system, floor’s support beams, and the foundation itself. Your home relies on all these systems to run efficiently and smoothly. None of these systems will function very well if they are wet, much less if they are forced to operate within a flood. You need to seal off the crawl space to ensure that this does not happen.

BQ Basements & Concrete can completely encapsulate your crawl space so that no moisture, mold and mildew spores, or pests will infiltrate this space ever again. This process consists of four main components: waterproofing with an interior drainage system and a sump pump, vapor barrier, vent covers, and a dehumidifier. The sump pump itself is the heart of our thorough drainage system, which we will also install around the perimeter of the crawl space. Once enough water has entered its system, the pump will then work to redirect this water away from your home. The vapor barrier covers your entire crawl space and makes it extremely difficult for no mold, mildew, or pests to break through. It also ensures that no groundwater can well up to flood the crawl space from below.

The vent covers will seal up any open vents around your crawl space. This ensures that the crawl space will remain dry no matter how harsh the outside weather is. Before we completely seal this space, however, our experts will then install a dehumidifier inside the crawl space. Should any humidity manage to slip through our other solutions, the dehumidifier will filter it out and circulate clean air around this space.

Let’s say your basement is extremely humid, but it doesn’t experience any kind of flooding. Does humidity harm your basement as much as water does? After all, if the only thing wrong with your basement is stuffy, damp air, how much harm can it do? The truth is, humidity is not only harmful for your basement, it’s also indicative of problems that will eventually cause harm. Part of the reason it’s such a significant problem in the first place is because most of its consequences aren’t felt until the damage is severe. Where there is excessive humidity, there is mold. Mold growth in your basement harms both you and your home’s structure. Because of the stack effect, the air in your basement rises in your home, including any existing fungal spores. Long-term exposure to mold triggers allergies and causes permanent harm to the respiratory system. Humidity also encourages pests to make a nest out of your basement, further increasing the risk of illness.

Crawl spaces are often neglected by homeowners. Basements at least often contain washing and drying machines and have sufficient space to be used for storage. Crawl spaces, however, are not places homeowners spend much of their time in. Even if you understand the importance of a sump pump in your crawl space, you might be wondering why you should encapsulate it in the first place. A basement you might understand, but what’s the point of applying white sheets to a crawl space you’ll never spend time in? Encapsulating your crawl space is more than just closing off your crawl space and making it look nice with white sheets. Those white sheets are actually vapor barriers that serve a very important purpose in the fight against humidity in your crawl space. Proper reflective insulation can also be installed along with the vapor barrier, even if your crawl space has already been insulated with another material. High quality reflective insulation like our patented thermal insulation panels makes sure that the warm crawl space air stays in the crawl space. This improves the energy efficiency in your home, reduces energy bills, and keeps the air in your home fresh at all times.

Sagging floors is one of those problems homeowners don’t usually see to right away. Sometimes, the floor begins to sag slowly over time, so it may not seem like a big deal as homeowners become accustomed to walking on an uneven floor. Other times, the thought of having to replace the floorboards and wooden joists is such a hassle that homeowners would rather put it off for later. However, did you know that if you act fast, not a single piece of wood in your foundation needs to be replaced? It all depends on what’s causing the sag and how quickly you’re able to fix it. One of the reasons your floor is sagging is because of damaged wood. This can be either due to breakage or due to wood rot. If it’s wood rot, you can kill the mold if it hasn’t softened up the wood significantly. To make sure the wood rot is completely gone and to protect yourself from manipulating dangerous chemicals yourself, contact an expert who can eliminate the rot and coat the wood with a primer to strengthen it. Another reason your floor is sagging would be due to foundation settling.

A good way to determine whether your basement or crawl space has high humidity levels is to check if the concrete has efflorescence stains. Efflorescence is a white, powdery substance on the surface of concrete. If you touch it or scrape it, it feels grainy and some of it flakes off. At times, homeowners will confuse efflorescence for mold, but this is incorrect. Efflorescence is salt, which you can feel the texture of if you scrape it off the concrete.

Efflorescence appears on your concrete either due to primary efflorescence or secondary efflorescence. Primary efflorescence usually occurs 48 to 72 hours after the concrete is poured and it’s a result of an excess amount of water in the cement mixture. As the cement cures, the water evaporates and rises to the surface of the concrete but brings along with it all the salts and minerals from the cement. Even professionals get a bad mixture from time to time, but an experienced contractor is less likely to make cement that produces efflorescence.

The word “hydro” means water and “static” is a synonym for still or steady. The term hydrostatic pressure perfectly illustrates the effects still groundwater has on your foundation and why it is so important to keep an eye out for it. Hydrostatic pressure is something you might not know you need to watch out for as a homeowner, but once you know about it, you’ll be more vigilant. It’s the kind of problem that many don’t think about until it affects their foundation significantly. Knowing what it is and what it does to your basement walls will allow you to understand why your walls are bowing and what the correct action to take is.

Why Crawl Space Repair and Encapsulation Is Needed

TheStackEffect On Floors Above the Basement or Crawl Space

Improves Air Quality

Did you know that your crawl space is responsible for 50% of the air that cycles up through your home? That means that when mold, mildew, and pest debris collect in your crawl space, the inhabitants of your home are breathing it all in. With crawl space encapsulation, you can prevent worsening health problems by cleansing the air in your crawl space and preventing more toxins from forming.

Helps You Save Money with Energy Efficiency

Just as you can suffer from air pollution from your crawl space, you can also suffer from temperature fluctuation as well. As air infiltrates through your crawl space, you may receive higher energy bills, due to your HVAC system working harder to warm your home during the cold, snowy winter months. Crawl space encapsulation helps neutralize the temperature beneath your home, sparing you dollars on your energy bill.

Fortifies Your Home’s Structure

Moisture in the crawl space can inflict rot upon the vital structures in your crawl space, the floor joists. As the floor joists wear down, you’ll notice bouncy, sagging floors in your living space. This can be a major issue for your home’s structural integrity because your floor joists are softening. Worst case scenario, your floor or walls could collapse. With proper repair and encapsulation, you have the chance to moisture control your crawl space, which helps safeguard against structural failure.

Crawl Space Encapsulation Tips and Mistakes


  • Don’t Go into Your Crawl Space

If you suspect crawl space issues, it’s advised to not go in unless you’re a professional. From hazardous mold to pests, to structural dangers, it’s better advised to reach out to a crawl space expert to perform an inspection of your crawl space. At BQ Basements & Concrete, we offer free crawl space inspections, so finding the source of the problems isn’t a hassle for you. 

  • Nurture Your Gutters

Your gutters play an important role in the health of both crawl spaces and basements. Properly functioning gutters direct water away from collecting around your home, where it’s free to flood your crawl space or overwhelm the soil in your yard. Having clogged gutters can amplify or accelerate crawl space issues by freely allowing water to infiltrate your crawl space. Maintaining your gutters by cleaning them out at least twice a year can make a huge difference for your crawl space.

  • Seal Your Vents

As mentioned before, crawl space vents were, unfortunately, an ill-informed common practice for many homes built in the second half of the 20th century. A crawl space expert will always recommend that you completely seal up your crawl space vents with a professional-grade cover or interior sealant.


  • Not Investing in Backup Solutions

Sump pumps are interior drainage systems installed in crawl spaces that kick in to prevent flooding in the case of bad weather or just excessive rain. If you experience a power outage during a storm, your sump pump will be gone at the moment that you need it most. That’s why we urge sump pump owners to invest in a battery-powered backup for sump pumps. The goal is always to never have to use your battery-powered sump pump—but in the case of an emergency, a battery backup can save your home.

  • Going For the Bare Minimum with Repairs

Crawl space repair and encapsulation can feel like a daunting investment, but only picking and choosing a few solutions to apply to your home may backfire. Encapsulation is a combination of multiple solutions working together to protect your home are vital to seeing permanent protection. That’s why we offer long-term warranties for your encapsulation solutions, and flexible financing options so you can fit the investment into your lifestyle.

  • DIYing Crawl Space Repair

While it may seem easy to DIY repairs to your crawl space, many “over-the-counter” crawl space repair options are temporary solutions that won’t get you the same results as encapsulation. You may end up having to buy these solutions multiple times or even putting yourself in danger trying to install them through breathing in mold or being in structurally hazardous conditions. At BQ Basements & Concrete, we deal in lifelong solutions for your home—we do the dirty work professionally, so you can enjoy your home again.

Find your service area

Camden, NJ

Camden, NJ

Camden is a city along the Delaware river with silty soils and above-average rainfall. This combination is problematic for your home’s foundation and causes damage. BQ Basement & Waterproofing keeps your foundation protected with world-class solutions.

Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia, PA

Philly’s rainy springs, humid summers, and cold winters create a challenging environment for your property, but BQ Basements & Concrete specializes in repairing foundations and concrete.

Trenton, NJ

Trenton, NJ

Trenton has silty loam soils with large deposits of clay. Along with the area’s above-average rainfall, your foundation is put at risk. BQ Basements & Concrete has solutions designed to keep your foundation protected.

Atlantic City, NJ

Atlantic City, NJ

Atlantic City is on the coast of New Jersey, which means it experiences muggy summers, windy winters, and sandy soil. This combination doesn’t provide the sturdiest environment for your home, as precipitation easily erodes the ground supporting your home. BQ has solutions to prevent this!

Dover, DE

Dover, DE

Sandy and gravelly soils in Dover provide solid ground for your home’s foundation, but they are easily eroded by the area’s above-average rain. Keep your home protected from problem signs with world-class solutions from BQ Basements & Concrete – providing local service in Dover.

Wilmington, DE

Wilmington, DE

At the northeast corner of Delaware, Wilmington has gravelly, sandy soils that are easily eroded by rain and snow. When soil is weakened, it spells disaster for your foundation; but BQ Basements & Concrete has industry-leading solutions that keep your home protected.

Southern, NJ

Southern, NJ

Known for its primarily sandy soil and yearly rainfall, Southern New Jersey homeowners are no stranger to foundation and basement issues. But BQ Basements & Concrete has leading solutions that keep your home protected.

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